Simplifying life one day at a time

Simplifying the Family

Simplifying the Family

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A few months ago I undertook an ambitious project to simplify my life and that of my family. To say we are simplifying makes it seems so easy, so idyllic, so romantic. Turns out its anything but. To simplify your life means it is going to get very complicated for a while.

I wish I could sit here and tell you all about how I just waved my magic wand and everything fell into place. But I can’t. In fact life is still anything but simple. I’m sitting here in my kitchen with my table heaped with end of school year papers, dish towels that need to be washed, half eaten snacks that Dozer has decided he doesn’t want to finish, a cold cup of coffee, and an endless list of things that need to get done (but can’t because it’s raining). But you know what, I’m happy and simple things are taking over more and more of our life.

The Most Important Thing

It may seem silly but the biggest change in simplifying was changing my mind. I had to consciously decide to make a change. If I didn’t want our family to continue down the way it was going then I was actually going to have to DO something not just wish. But man that actual DOING part is hard.

The second thing I need to realize was that my simple was not going to remotely look like those beautiful Pinterest images that pop up. Try as I might my simple will not be beautiful flat lays with white tables and shiny floors. No. My simple looks a lot more like everyone having clean underwear all the time, and enough staples in the house to whip up something for dinner when I can’t make it to the store.

There are infinite areas of my house, and life that need to be simplified more. Endless decluttering that needs to happen, there is always laundry to be done, paces that need to be tidied, and so on. There are systems in place that are working at the moment but do require a further evaluation, but nothing is standing still. Each day I make a little more progress, a little more extra gets removed. Its exciting, its challenging, its heart wrenching some days and I love it.

Making the Change

When I got it in my head that we were going for simple I immediately though lets go back to our roots. Like way back. Laura Ingalls Wilder back. Since I like using my electric stove and indoor plumb I decided that wasn’t the best idea. I’ve read simplifying books (like that magic one about throwing out not joyful stuff, oh that was fun, serious note I do follow some of her advice still but that’s a conversation for another day), I tried to do everything all at once. It lasted a grand total of 2 days.

Once I got serious the first thing I did was clean out one drawer in my kitchen. Seems easy enough. But that little bit of open space was enough to spur me on and keep going. The fact my drawer opened without me having to fight it, and I could easily see everything was so exciting. Even now, when life feels overwhelming and like I will never fully have a handle on simplifying my life I return to the drawer. I clean it out and for a few moments I am at peace.

It’s a Process

This isn’t the end of our story. Our life is still upside down and messy more often than not. But as we adopt new systems, learn new skills, purge the clutter cracks of light get in. We have more glimpses of the wonderful life we are working hard to create for our kids.

 

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